The James Madison University Department of Political Science conducts internship programs in the following areas:
To be eligible for an undergraduate internship, the student must have junior or senior standing and have completed five courses which provide an appropriate academic preparation for the internship. The internship programs are intended to provide eligible students with opportunities to test academic learning against practical experience and observation. Students is expected to make valuable work contributions to the providers of their internships. Students are also expected to keep logs or records of internship activities and to write two papers under the direction of one of our faculty members. One of the two papers is a traditional research paper on a topic related to the internship work. The other is a career report that details what the student has gained from the internship.
The internship provider at the work site is expected to assign the student meaningful work in keeping with the student's level of competence and to provide supervision as needed. We recognize, of course, that the types of opportunities that an organization can offer an intern are constrained by the mission of the organization and the capabilities of the student. At the end of the internship, the internship provider will be expected to complete an evaluation form on the student's performance. We encourage the internship provider to discuss the evaluation with the intern, but we will not share the evaluation with the student unless the provider specifically directed us to do so.
Since experiential learning provides an important balance to classroom study, the Political Science Department awards grades and academic credit to students completing the internship program. This grade is based largely on the internship provider's evaluation of the intern's performance and the faculty member's evaluation of the student's papers. We are very appreciative of provider assistance: the opportunity for a student to play a supportive role in work-world projects or activities is very valuable.
Inquiries concerning internships should be directed to:
Timothy M. LaPira
Department of Political Science
91 E Grace St., MSC 7705
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807